Jan Barstad is trying to solve the mystery of the Newport Tower
There are at least five major theories on the origins of the tower, but none has been proven: that it was a 14th century Scottish watch tower, a 12th century Norse Christian church, remnants of a Chinese fleet's settlement, a memorial, or a 17th century English colonial structure that was built by former Rhode Island Gov. Benedict Arnold (a relative of the notorious traitor) to replace a windmill.
Barstad, president of the Chronognostic Research Foundation Inc. a Tempe, Ariz., firm that conducts research on artifacts, is hopeful that anything underground will help her figure out the tower's origins. She's asked the city council for permission to dig at the site and put to rest all the theories of how and why and when the tower was built.
"There are a lot of great stories to tell and ... the Newport tower is one of the best," she said.
The Newport Tower also has inspired speculation of a connection to Prince Henry Sinclair
, the Templars, and Rosslyn Chapel
More information on the Tower may be found here